Thursday, August 11, 2011

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1959 Chevrolet Brookwood

Second in my series of quote-unquote "Big Three" Summer Road Trip Wagons is an example from General Motors. this Crown Sapphire Metallic 1959 Chevy Brookwood two-door wagon is one of a trio of cool '59 Chevys owned by a collector on Potrero Hill.
I first found out about the '59s via Flickr, scouting for old cars in the City. It seems a number of folks have photographed a green Impala coupe parked on Potrero, and I knew it was within walking distance of one of my drawing classes at the Academy of Art University, so one evening after class I headed out in search of it. What I found instead was this Brookwood.

The Brookwood was the cheapest wagon in Chevrolet's lineup in 1959, based on the low-trim Biscayne model. The 2-door wagon was far less popular than the 4-door wagon (accounting for 11% of all Chevy wagon sales that year at 20,760 produced). Given that both wagons were the same length and seated the same number of passengers, one might ask why the 2-door wagon existed at all. Upon closer inspection it seems there's a good reason for that - customers could also order a sedan delivery version with blank panels instead of rear windows or even the new-for-'59 El Camino coupe utility pickup, both of which were based on the two-door wagon.

Despite the Brookwood being small potatoes in the brand hierarchy, the rakish tail fins, large wraparound windshield and defiantly elaborate styling details set it apart from anything else on the road. Even the script badges bearing the make and model names look classy. Classic script emblems are an endless source of fascination for me. The owner of this car seems like he enjoys cars, and has customized this one with dual chrome turn-down exhaust tips and chrome half-circle headlight covers. The stickers in the windows are mostly vintage hot-rodding brands and racing events. I'd like to see this car cleaned up a little, at least benefitting from some rust repair, but the condition is remarkable for an apparent unrestored survivor. I also like the body-color steel wheels with dog dish hubcaps and simple base-model chrome side trim. With a 348 V8 this car would be a pretty cool budget cruiser with room for all your stuff, whether you like picking antiques or picnics and tea.


  1. Another top quality find Jay ! :-)

  2. Does anyone know if this car is for sale?

  3. I recently met the owner of this car on a camping trip. He's a super nice guy, but I doubt he'll offer this car for sale any time soon.

  4. Anything 2 door looks better, we had a 4dr Brookwood new by 1965 pretty dinged, rusted and shot